Hello everyone

Hope you’re all well. I know we’re still a few weeks away from the first Turn Ups (those that haven’t been cancelled), so myself and your other officers thought it was appropriate that we share our thoughts on when and how we will re-open our activities. Now firstly, I’d like to remind us all of the old adage that “you can’t please all of the people all of the time”, because at this time, whilst we’re trying to navigate the guidelines, there will be different opinions. That’s one of the reasons, I would suggest, that makes this a great club to be a part of.

Whilst, each individual is completely free to make their own decision about going out on their bike on their own, or with a mate or mates, I think as the Chair at this time I just thought I’d try and summarise the position regarding the new guidelines and our Turn Ups. It would appear that from 29th March there are a couple of scenarios that could allow us out on our bikes – the rule of 6 meeting outside and outdoor sport and leisure facilities being allowed, but looking a bit deeper the guidelines also state that unnecessary travel should be avoided, so a little confusing (as most of this stuff is)

On our Facebook page Dorian recently posted a piece from Kevin Mulligan the motorcycle rep for the National Police Chiefs Council which concluded –

“I therefore would suggest that lawfully, between 8-29 March it is OK for a maximum of 2 bikers to travel for recreation purposes and that from 29 March, it is lawful for a maximum of 6 bikers to travel together and meet up in no more than that number. The question for all of us, myself included, is that just because I can lawfully do something, is it appropriate for me to do so especially when we remain precariously positioned in terms of infection rates?”

I’ve read many interpretations of the guidelines (and or legislation which don’t appear to be the same thing sadly), but in my view this summary by a senior police officer would appear to be the most rational. Let’s not rush into anything especially as the country isn’t out of the woods yet. Therefore, I think our Turn Ups should re-start at Step 2 no earlier than 12th April when the rules relax further, with a further view taken as we approach Step 3 on 17th May.

Now with regards to the mechanics of the Turn Ups starting on 14th April, the following is an extract from Step 2 rules (slightly paraphrased) – any facility that we’re planning to visit during our Turn Ups must have the capability to allow their customers to abide by social contact rules outside (ie plenty of open space outside with tables well spaced apart etc). We can meet in groups of up to 6, but even although we should be outside, we must continue to socially distance from our friends by at least 2m. We must also be seated to order and consume food/drink, and we must minimise travel to reach the destination (so on the 14th April for me living in Wiltshire attending the Oxford Turn Up would seem reasonable, but not the one in Herefordshire and certainly not the one in Cumbria).

As we can still only have a maximum of 6 meeting outdoors we must plan for this. On the website only the first part of the postcode of the Turn Up location is displayed. If you wish to attend a particular Turn Up, then make this known to the organiser (it might be appropriate for new-ish members to check out Turn Up dates and make contact with the organiser as soon as they can to ensure they get a good crack of the whip). When the organiser has 5 requests (with themselves being the 6th), he will notify Martin Bartlett who will then “close” the event – there will be a clear graphic against each event when it is closed. There may a timing overlap where you contact the organiser and he informs you that it’s full because the website has still to be updated but we’ll just have to live with that. And please, don’t try to second guess where the Turn Up may be – that would be discourteous to the Organiser and against the spirit of the guidelines. You may only attend if you’ve booked a place with the relevant organiser.

I certainly didn’t think I’d still be prattling on about this in March 2021, but it is what it is. We are on the downward slope towards normality but life, and also our activities, will probably continue to be disrupted for some time to come, but we’ll get there. Just remember that my ramblings above could change if the guidelines change.

As always everyone stay safe and look forward to catching up soon. Best Wishes, Bryan